About the Off-Season: Hey, Look What He Did
By Tim Kabel
November 28, 2023
There are certain people who get a reputation for pushing the envelope and shocking the rest of us with their actions or behaviors. An example of this would be Cher, who throughout her career has worn increasingly more revealing and outrageous outfits. Madonna is the same way. The movie director, M. Night Shyamalan, started making movies with shocking twist endings, such as The Sixth Sense. Eventually, that trick became a little stale, and he ran through a rough patch. i imagine that when you earn a reputation for being different, it will eventually define you. It would then be extremely difficult to exhibit mainstream behavior. If we saw Cher on a talk show dressed like Grandma Walton, we wouldn't recognize her. We would wonder what was wrong with her
I love to cook for my friends and family. I like to make meals that nourish them, and which also provide enjoyment. I like to try different things, but I have come to the realization that not every meal can be a showstopper. I made a wonderful elk stew not long ago but, that isn't something I will be making all the time. I also prepared Turducken on two occasions. I don't think I will do it again.
The point is that if you try to be extraordinary all the time, it becomes a tough act to repeat. After a while, the extraordinary becomes ordinary. There used to be a radio host on the local station when I was a kid. Every morning he would say, "leave early today". This was based on traffic or other reasons. Eventually, I came to realize that if you leave early every day, you are no longer leaving early, it is just the time that you leave.
In recent years, Brian Cashman has developed the habit of making moves that surprise and shock the fan base and the rest of Baseball. He has found many "diamonds in the rough". Recent examples were Wandy Peralta, Clay Holmes, and Matt Carpenter. Cashman acquires players that no one really gave much consideration to and for the most part they have come in and done a good job for the Yankees. The players Cashman targets are not stars. They are either people who are faded or never achieved the level of excess success that was projected for them. Cashman still likes to do this. That is becoming a problem.
Instead of constantly acquiring diamonds in the rough, perhaps Cashman should just acquire a diamond or two. If there is a move that people have suggested that makes sense for the team, it doesn't mean the GM is not doing his job if he makes that move. Cashman does not have to acquire someone who has been kicking around the Mexican League for three years and make him the closer just so everyone can say "Wow, look what he did!" Sometimes, a predictable move is the best move to make.
While it is true that Brian Cashman acquired Clay Homes, Wandy Peralta, and Matt Carpenter, he also acquired Franchy Cordero, Willie Calhoun, and Andrew Heaney. At this point, the Yankees do not need any eccentric, obscure, or eclectic trades or free agent signings. They need proven players or young players with a high potential for success to improve the team. We don't need to hear about a trade for a 38-year-old player who needs a fresh start. Let that player go to Kansas City. Whether you as a fan think Cody Bellinger should be a Yankee or not, at least he's a player who has a high potential to make a difference, as opposed to Charlie Blackmon, who is also the subject of Yankee trade rumors.
My concern is that Cashman is essentially defined by unorthodox and out-of-the-blue trades. He is known for making moves that are off the radar. He likes to prove that he's smarter than everyone else. Sometimes when you do that, you wind up outsmarting yourself. Cashman has to understand that the trades and acquisitions are not about him and his legacy. That is secondary to improving the team. He needs to do that first and foremost. If he does, his reputation and legacy will improve.
Not every meal needs to be braised yak shanks that were marinated in violet petals, picked in Madagascar. Sometimes, a simple roasted chicken and mashed potatoes will be perfectly fine. Just because something is predicted or predictable does not mean it isn't good.